Saturday, July 7, 2012
Willi Plett Autograph Card
On June 20th, fellow blogger Sal pulled this one as the first ''hit'' in his purchase of 3 (!!!) boxes of In The Game's 2011-12 Enforcers set. At $75-100 per pack of 12 cards, even if 5 are commons (of the 90-card set), 5 are autographs and 2 are memorabilia (jersey) cards, there was no way I was shelling out that kind of money to finish with cards of Wade Belak.
Plus, at 5 ''regular cards'' per pack, how much will it cost to mount a full set? This was just ridiculous.
Until I got an offer I couldn't really pass up: for $5, I could get in on a group that would offer me the second ''hit'', or the first one if it was of a defunct team (Atlanta Flames, Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, California (Golden) Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Atlanta Thrashers, etc), or the Habs - or the right to ''trade down'' for the 7th ''hit''. So, for $5, I was getting an autograph or a jersey, and didn't have to bother with the leftovers.
The first hit ended up being the card I would have wanted: Georges Laraque (who went on record saying he wanted out of the set...), wearing my favourite third jersey of all, the Edmonton Oilers' Todd McFarlane-designed one. But the Oilers still exist, so...
The second hit ended up being of a defunct team, the above-mentioned Willie Plett card, fror the Atlanta Flames. It was destined to be my card...
Plett was born in Paraguay but grew up in Canada. He started playing hockey at age 12 and was a soft player at first, until one coach relegated him to tier-2 and he overcompensated the other way for the rest of his career.
While many view his most impressive statistic s being the 3 penalty minutes per game average he accumulated on 2572 PIMs in 834 games, I like to remember he had 33 goals and 23 assists for 56 points in 64 games, good for Rookie Of The Year (Calder trophy) status in 1976-77. He also made the move to Calgary with the rest of the team, playing two seasons there, netting 38 and 21 goals respectively.
It wasn't until he was sent to the North Stars that they made him into a full-time goon, and after a 25-goal season in 1982-83, he garnered 316 PIMs the next year, and over 750 more in the following four seasons, the last one with the Boston Bruins.
All in all I'm happy with this card, #A-WP in the set. The autograph is on a sticker, but it's made to look like a Band-Aid, and it could be the smartest integration of the sticker in the design I've seen so far.